Thursday, December 18, 2008


This is not my essay, but very true.

Does anyone feel like the true meaning of Christmas is a little bit lost?

Okay. Alot lost?

Christmas has become more of a retailer’s phenomenon than a religious holiday destined to remind us of why we’re here on this earth. While we make ourselves crazy shopping, we forget why Jesus was born, what He would grow up to do. We don’t think of salvation, compassion, or good will toward men.

If we’re not careful, the true meaning will be forever lost in the commercialism. That’s why we have to start with the youngest of our humanity. The future generations.

Our children.

Years ago, my sister-in-law gave each of us a red bag filled with trinkets. They came with a story, too, which never fails to choke me up.

I’d like to share that story with you today.

Just a week before Christmas, I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I had just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door of the front room, and to my surprise, Santa Claus himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree. He placed his fingers over his mouth so I would not cry out.

“What are you doing?” I started to ask, but the words lodged in my throat as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone…gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know.

He then answered with a simple statement of “teach the children”. I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood there bewildered, Santa said again, “Teach the children. Teach them the meaning of Christmas…the meanings that Christmas nowadays has forgotten.”

I started to say, “How can I…” when Santa reached into the toy bag and pulled out a shining star.

“Teach the children the star was the heavenly sign of promise long ages ago. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was a sign of the fulfillment of that promise. The countless shining stars at night, one for each man, now show the burning hope of all mankind.” Santa gently laid the star upon the fireplace mantle and drew forth from the bag a red Christmas tree ornament.

“Teach the children red is the first color of Christmas. It was first used by the faithful people to remind them of the blood which was shed for all the people by the Savior. Christ gave His life and shed His blood that every man might have God’s gift of Eternal Life. Red is deep, intense, vivid…it is the greatest color of all. It is the symbol of the gift of God.”

“Teach the children,” he said as he dislodged a small Christmas tree from the depths of the toy bag. He placed it before the mantle and gently hung the red ornament on it. The deep green of the fir tree was a perfect background for the ornament. Here was the second color of Christmas.

“The pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round,” he said. “This depicts the everlasting hope of mankind. Green is the youthful, hopeful, abundant color of nature. All needles point Heavenward, symbols of man’s returning thoughts toward Heaven. The great green tree has been man’s best friend. It has sheltered him, warmed him, made beauty for him.”

Suddenly I heard a soft tinkling sound.

“Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring for a man to return to the fold. It means guidance and return. It further signifies that all are precious in the eyes of the Lord.” As the soft sound of the bell faded into the night, Santa drew forth a candle. He placed it on the mantle and the soft glow from its tiny flame cast a glow about the darkened room. Odd shapes in shadows slowly danced and weaved upon the walls.

“Teach the children,” whispered Santa, “that the candle shows man’s thanks for the star of long ago. Its small light is the mirror of starlight. At first candles were placed on the trees. They were like many glowing stars shining against the dark green. The colored lights now take over in remembrance.”

Santa turned the small Christmas tree lights on and picked up a gift from underneath the tree. He pointed to the large bow and said, “A bow is placed on a present to remind us of the brotherhood of man. We should remember that the bow is tied as men should be tied, all of us together, with the bonds of goodwill toward each other. Goodwill forever is the message of the bow.”

Santa slung his bag over his shoulder and began to reach for the candy cane placed high upon the tree. He unfastened it and reached out toward me with it.

“Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps bring back the strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane represents the helping hand we should show at Christmas time. The candy candy cane is the symbol that we are our brothers’ keepers.

As Santa looked about the room, a feeling of satisfaction shone in his face. He read wonderment in my eyes, and I am sure he sensed my admiration on this night.

He reached into his bag and brought forth a holly wreath. He placed it on the door and said, “Please teach the children the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love; it never ceases, stops, or ends. It is one continuous round of affection. The wreath does double duty. It is made of many things and in many colors. It should remind us of all the things of Christmas.

Please teach the children.”

Do you try to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive at your house? How? What customs do you do–or used to do–that would help you and your children remember what the Season is truly about?

By the way–Santa’s story and his red bag of trinkets makes a wonderful treasured family heirloom. Feel free to make this story your gift to someone you love!

The Fillies will be taking a well-deserved break for a couple of weeks. I’ll be back the first Wednesday in January. Until then . . .

May you have the most joyful of Christmases filled with the light from God’s love!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


OK, the back nine is closed. As a matter of fact so is the front nine. The golf clubs are in the basement instead of the back of the van. I tossed my golf sandals into the washing machine with Jerry's dirty jeans. Guess what. They came out looking like new. Don't buy me new golf sandals for Christmas. :) Now the first hour after work is spent on exercise so I don't outgrow my golf clothes over the winter.

I haven't started any projects for the winter yet. When I bowled in Wayne, our sponsor bought us jackets for winning our league. The plan is to make a pillow out of the logo and sew the patches around the logo and add the pins. A golf friend I have is a very creative & crafty person. Maybe after the holidays I can get her to help me create this object d' art. Is that the right spelling?

Other winter projects -- Organizing my computer room. Cleaning closets. Putting pictures in albums. Cleaning all the cupboards and pantry. Maybe I should start another afghan. Every once in a while God gives me something to do by piling snow on my driveway. Working 4 days and having Friday off should have netted me some extra time to do odds and ends--NOT. The theory I have is that the amount of stuff you have to do expands to fill or overflow the time you have allotted. Erma Bombeck (I miss her columns) once wrote that if your house is a mess and someone comes to the door, set the vacuum out. It looks like you are in the middle of cleaning. Maybe I could just leave it out. That would give me another corner of my coat closet to stick something else. :).

Winter is only 10 days away. Then the days start getting longer and we can start looking forward to spring. I have the Terry Redlin 4 season plates in a wall display which are rotated so that the current season is on top. These plates get dusted at least 4 times a year when I move the current season to the top.

Enough rambling. Have a productive winter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Road trip, etc.

Saturday had a schedule - move plants, watch Nebraska football, take a road trip.

The past 3 years my plant collection has outgrown my window space in my living room.
The house we live in has a wonderful sun porch. Unfortunately it has no heat except the sun. It is a great place for plants, almost like a green house. But, they can't be left out there over the winter. About three years ago my boss allowed me to take the plants from my collection and put them in the dealership showroom for the winter. The plants seem to really like it there. Jerry & I loaded the pickup box, then the van and still had 4 large plants left over for a third trip. Some of my outside plants also get to go to the showroom. All together I think we moved 24 plants which are now safe from the frosty Nebraska winter.

Next on the schedule was to get to the Fairplay clubhouse to get the best seat for the ball game. We did and watched the Huskers beat Baylor 32-30. I had 0 in the football pool and lost on the safety. Last week I lost the pool because of the final touchdown. Not my year for winning the $10.00 pool.

Now, the road trip - For several years our friends have said we need to ride with them to their home farms near Bloomfield. The fall has always been the time to do this because of the beautiful trees. On approaching Bloomfield, the windmills of the wind farm are clearly visible. This is quite a sight. There are going to be 27 (I think) of them and they are huge. Anyone who thinks Nebraska is flat needs to take a turn off of I80 and see some real country. There area areas all over the state that have hills that are almost scary.
Donna's mom is currently residing in a nursing home in Norfolk, but is hoping to go back to her assisted living apartment in Bloomfield. Therefore Donna had a list of things to pick up and a list of things to do. Denny also wanted to check on the paint job his renter is doing on his family farm. The trees did not disappoint us. First stop was the apartment. The facility is very nice and clean and the attendant seemed very friendly. The apartment is jam packed with necessities and things to make it homey. The item that really catches your eye is a refurbished violin hanging on the wall. This musical memory belonged to Donna's grandfather and she had it restored for her Mom. (Donna is a very thoughtful person). Next stop was "the farm." Which is guarded by a 3-legged blue healer. He won't hurt you, but he might love you to death. Plants had to be watered and the furnace filter changed. A couple of items were picked up to take to "Mom". While watering plants, Donna asked if I would like a Norfolk pine that was from her Dad's funeral. OK, I don't really need another plant, do I? No, but I took it anyway. We toured the farmstead and the land around it. Next was on to Denny's farm. No one was home there except 3 dogs including a St Bernard. They were friendly so no one got hurt. The paint job was coming along and we did not spend a lot of time there.
Our next stop was Murdo's near Yankton, SD for supper, or dinner, whatever you prefer. The wait was only about 10 minutes and the food was great. Murdo's is right on the Missouri River and a very popular eating place. Since we were on the river, I thought catfish would be the appropriate choice. It was very good. The last stop was Walmart in Yankton for something Donna was looking for, but couldn't find in Norfolk. Her hunt was successful and we headed home. We crossed the new bridge between Nebraska and South Dakota. Since it was dark we couldn't see much except the bridge. It is ready to be a part of the 4-lane highway 81 if they ever get that far.
I guess this is one thing that I can cross off my mental "bucket list."

Friday, September 19, 2008


September always brings back good and bad memories.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of our Mother's death. Time does move on at an alarming rate. The 25th is the 39th anniversay of our Dad's death. The 25th is also
Tammie & Randy's anniversary. The 25th was Jerry's Dad's birthday. I remember we always got him a funny card, but the year Dad died I couldn't bring myself to give it to him on that day. He did get it about a week later.

Monday was the funeral of our Daughter-in-law's grandfather.

I think I want to die in September. The weather is really beautiful this time of year. The trees are starting to turn and the crops are turning. Temperatures are usually very comfortable and the humidity seems to be lower. The air conditioner can be turned off and the furnace is also resting. Some of the nicest golf weather is this time of year. Before the leaves start falling and before the snow flys. Families are getting back into the routine (or chaos) of school and activities.
Choirs are back in church. Although I kind of like the special music of the summer.
My favorite sports, volleyball and football, are in full swing. I have to add softball to the list this year as Abby has opted to play softball this year.

I hope everyone enjoys the remaining nice weather before the snow and cold sets in.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Western Swing

Friday morning 4:30 am. The alarm clock is ringing. It is my day off and we are off on a 3-day golf trip. Aren't you supposed to sleep in on vacation?

We planned on eating an early lunch in Paxton, but with the time change Big Ole's wasn't open yet. We had brunch or breakfast in a cafe that is connected to Ole's. The Big Game bar was open when we finished our meal so we walked through the Bar. Utechts had never been there.
The first course we played was Bayside near Ogallala. The address is actually Brule, but who know where Brule is. You can see Lake McConahey from the course. The wind was blowing 25-30 mph with gusts to 40. It was a very interesting course, but the wind made it really a lot tougher. We play vacation rules. Can't take more than 8 on a hole. If you can't get out of the sand in 2 shots, you can throw it out.
If a ball goes into the native grasses, you can drop near the entry spot without a penalty stroke. OK, we cheat.
The clubhouse was really nice. They had meals and were showing the NE game so we stayed there to watch. Although Nebraska managed to win, we can see where there is a lot of work to be done.
After the game it was time to head for our Super 8 motel via a Dairy Queen. We made the DQ with just 2 minutes to spare before closing. The motel was clean and quiet.

Didn't have to get up so early on Saturday. We only had to drive to Gothenburg to play Wild Horse. We found a Village Inn for breakfast. I think it was in No Platte This course was designed by the same person that designed Bayside so it was very similar. The wind was still blowing just like at Bayside. Wind blowing in the sand hills of Nebraska brings the extra pleasure of being beaten by blowing sand. (OUCH)
We got done in time to watch the last volleyball set at the clubhouse. Our next course was in Kearney so we drove there to stay at the Wingate. This motel was a lot nicer than the Super 8.
Our tee time for Monday was 10 am. The motel had a great breakfast buffet. They had the waffle makers which I love. We were not very far from the course so we had a little time to look around an antique store there. This course was not in the sand hills so we only had to deal with the still-blowing wind but not the blowing sand. Meadow Hills (I think that is the name) has very wide fairways and a lot of hills.It was easier to play than the other courses.
After playing we were all hungry and ready to head for home. We found a little Mom & Pop type cafe somewhere along hiway 30 where I had Beef and noodles. You don't find food like that in your big chains like Applebees and Whisky Creek.
While playing in Ogallala another golfer recognized Jerry as someone he had seen somewhere. They were from Pender and remembered seeing him when we played there. The other couple were originally from Pender but now live in Omaha. We kept running into them everywhere we went. They were eating in Whiskly Creek in Gothenburg when we got there. They were playing at Wild Horse and in the club house when we got done. They stayed in the same motel in Kearney and were having breakfast when we were and we waved at them accross the fairway on the golf course.
The trip home was uneventful and we got home around 6 so had time to unpack and get ready for the coming week.
I would like to play the two sandhill's courses again someday when the wind isn't blowing.
That was our mini-vacation for this year.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer's end

The first sign of summer's end is that our golf league is done. We had our end-of-year fun night last night. Each team plays a scramble format. After a great meal, we have our fall meeting with election of officers. (boring huh) Do you belong to an organization of women? Having an orderly meeting seems to be impossible. Only about half are paying attention. The others are busy chatting. If they would all just shut up and listen, the meeting could be over in half the time. My team came in seventh and got enough cash back to pay for our dues next year. I also got $5.00 for tying for "most birdies". There must have been a real shortage of birdies this year, because I only had 2.
Sunday is our City tournament. There are 3 golf clubs in our town with probably 60 women from each club that are eligible to play in this event. It is really sad that we have to struggle to keep it going with only about 20 women participating. Even the big cities have trouble getting players for this event. Some of the women from Omaha were discussing this at the last NWAGA tournament I participated in.
Now we have the beautiful fall weather to look forward to. Some of the best golf is in the fall.

The next obvious sign of summer's end is school starting. On my route from work, I drive by the back side of the high school. Dress codes have changed since I attended school, many, many years ago. The football boys have been practicing for a couple of weeks and I suppose the volleyball girls are hard at it in the gym.

Next is the football coverage in the newspapers. Nebraska has had articles almost every day about our "back to tradition" football. Now we are reading about the volleyball "rebuilding year." Other Big XII teams are being analyzed. We are hoping for good things to be happening in the future.

The summer flowers are fading and drying up. Monarch butterflies are migrating. Some our finding my butterfly bush in the back yard. Fresh garden produce is abundant.

Summer clearances have been going on since just after July 4th. If you know what size you will be next spring, it is a good time to buy shorts. The racks are full of winter things that just don't look inviting right now.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tournament update

Last Saturday was our club tournament at Fairplay. Even though I scored the best I have played in a long, long time, I came in 3rd. This is not so bad because it was
3rd in the gross catagory. My score was 89 the low score was 84. Now comes the "if". If I had scored one stroke worse, 90, I would have won first place in the net division. I would have taken home more money, but the prestige of placing with the "big sticks" is better. After the tournament play we played in a "par 3 tournament." They place the tee markers up in the fairways so all the holes are par 3's. I also placed 2nd in the women's division for that. Pretty successful day.

On Wednesday our ladies' league had a member/guest. Members invite someone that does not play in our league. I invited a friend from Wayne. I brought in a ringer and we won first place. Thanks, Sandra.

Pretty good week for me so thanks for letting me brag a little.

Friday, July 18, 2008

back to school

I am going back to school for 4 classes. Since my kids and grandkids are all computer literate, I will try to catch up a little. The computer has been a big part of my job for a long time. But, I feel like I only know how to run the "in house" system at work. The first class was Wednesday afternoon. There is a series of 3 classes on computer basics for seniors. The other class is on Quicken, the bookkeeping system I have been trying to learn to keep the trucking business more up to date. Wish me luck.

Yesterday I took the day off to play in a tournament in Wayne. The local businesses have what they call a "vendors tournament". They invite their vendors to play a 4 person scramble. It is all just for fun. The winners recieve a dozen golf balls to divide between them. Governor Heinneman and some other politicians were there. The gov's team tied for first place. I wonder if they gave him extra mulligans. lol

This weekend is the club tournament at Fairplay. The ladies play on Saturday and the men on Sunday. I better get my weekend chores done today so I can goof off tomorrow.

Our 15 year old grandaughter is on a trip to Europe with a group from her school. She left last Friday and will be home Sunday. What a great experience this is for someone so young.

Better get busy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Catching up

Boy, have I been busy.

Last Monday, June 30, I had an endoscopy and esophagus aplation. I had this done once before about 4 years ago. I have a conditon called Barritt's esophaus caused by acid reflux, or GERD. An endoscopy is done to see if there is damage. If so, the damaged cells are burned off. I will talk to Dr again on Monday. They send you home when you are still off in la-la land so I don't remember too much about the ride from Omaha back to Norfolk. (I do remember haveing a bowl of chicken broth at Village Inn with Tammie and Randy.) A liquid diet for the first day and then soft foods for a week. By the way, you can make anything soft if you chew it long enough.
Other than that I can go on about my business as usual. I worked on Tuesday, on Wednesday I was invited to play at the Norfolk Country Club so I took that day off as my day off and Friday was the 4th. Only two days to work last week so have been trying to get caught up.
Friday night we were at Joe's for a cookout and fireworks. All of both Joe's and Angie's families were there for supper. Some other friends of theirs came by for the fireworks. It was great fun watching the kids play in the lake. Others played volleyball. I even played 1 game of volleyball. Since I don't even own a swimsuit, I had to be content with just wading into the water a little bit. There was quite a fireworks show with all the other displays around the lake. As we were leaving, the lightening bugs were putting on a display of their own. It is really dark as you drive away from Joe's house and the bugs were spectacular.

We played golf on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday we had two other couples over to play golf and then had a cookout. We had a great time.

Still trying to get my basement back in shape after the water problem. A person can really store a lot of stuff when you have a full basement. I'm not sure that is a good thing.

Do hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and enjoy what is left of summer. The stores are putting out school supplies, so fall can't be far behind.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Ever notice that Polish (the nationality) and polish (what you put on your shoes) are spelled the same? Just goes to show you that Noah Webster didn't know the difference between S**t and shinola.

Saturday am - Drug all the wet carpet out and sent JD to the dump. Washed all the rugs and towels that were used in clean up + all the other laundry. Mowed, got groceries, golfed and had hot dogs on the grill at Utecht's, and watched the 3rd round of the US open. I hope Tiger hasn't done permanent damage to his leg.

Sunday - got up real early to go to Walnut, Ia with Utechts for their big antique sales. A lot of vendors had packed up and gone home when the weather threatened Saturday afternoon. Got the last little canister and one other piece for my "sun and moon" collection.

This time of year is usually my favorite time of year to go driving. Everything is so lush and green. This year it makes me sad to see all the farm ground that won't be planted this year. A little water in the basement is just an inconvenience compared to what is happening further east.

Norfolk Country Club had their annual ladies open yesterday. I took off early to play. It is usually the one time each year I get to play there. Didn't play too bad, but didn't win any golf prizes. Managed to have the winning number in the 50/50 drawing. I played with a lady that I played with in Hastings and she invited me to be her guest next Wednesday on the "guest day". I accepted so will get to play there again. BTW, Janell, your bosses wife will also be her guest so will get to play with Bev G. again. Looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Change of Plans

Saturday - the usual chores- Laundry, mowing, cleaning, grocery shopping. Jerry was playing in an annual 2-day tournament called the Polish Open. An invitational fun tournament put on by a local golfer. My usual golfing buddies had a family thing in Bloomfield so I was left on my own. It was just work, work, work until time to get ready to go to the dinner that was part of the "Polish." Friends from Carroll were there so had a good time.
Sunday, I had volunteered to help at a tournament at Fairplay. After more rain, around 2 or 3 inches, this tournament was cancelled. Jerry went to play his second day at El Dorado. After I went to church, I decided to do some things that I have been putting off. I went to the basement to get a sponge mop. There was water in the basement. At first I thought the air conditioner had backed up again. NOT. The water was coming up from all the rain. Now, we have never had a problem with rain water, but we have never had this much rain since we have lived in this house. So, as a result, my Sunday was spent vacuuming water. The water just kept coming up through the floor. This is how I did not want to spend my Sunday. I got up at midnight, 3 am, and once more at 6 to go over the areas affected so the water would not get into other areas. When I went home over my lunch hour I went over it again. It seemed to have quit coming in. I hit it again after golf around 9 pm.

Monday- We had a make-up golf night and managed to get it played.

Tuesday- I had an insurance adjuster stop by who informed me ground water and rain water are not covered unless we have a sump pump and tile. Now do I spend the money to install the above items or hope this is a one-time occurrence and just keep vacuuming if it happens again? The grass just keeps growing so time to mow again. Then I borrowed a ladder from our very nice neighbor and crawled up on the roof with the leaf blower and blew out all the *&%# maple seeds out of the gutters.

Wednesday - We got our golf league played without getting rained out. Now we only have one more make-up which is scheduled for June 30.

Thursday- Sun is shining - no rain forecast.

My first project for tomorrow will be to get the damaged carpet out of the basement(didn't like it anyway). Any volunteers to help? I feel my back protesting already.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Small world

Donna & I left Sunday after church and brunch with Denny & Jerry. Our tee time was 1:50. We programmed the Garmin and even though we took our own route as far as Grand Island, it would recalculate and took us right to the golf course. There was a lady from the Norfolk Country Club and another lady that was her friend that were also a twosome so they joined us for our practice round. They were Bev Mc and Bev G.
Both played golf in Oakland and became good friends. Bev G is from Tekamah. I told her my sister lived near Herman and if she (Bev) was into horses she might know her.
She asked who my sister was. When I told her she said "Janell used to babysit my kids when she lived in Tekamah." She also told of picking them up one day and each one had a bucket of snakes. Tell me, Janell, what kind of treat is that to send home with the kids?
More small world. One of the employees of the Nebraska PGA, Monica Novak, spent most of growing up years in Wayne. Her Dad & I went to country school together and Monica always updates me on where they are. She told me they had bought a lot on the lake by Pilger and are going to be Joe's neighbors. They currently live in Omaha and will use the lake house for weekends until they retire in about 3 years.
Ray & Carol (McKinzie) both graduated from Lyons.

I played ok part of the time in the 2-day tournament, but managed to get into enough trouble that I didn't place. Southern Hills golf course is beautiful. I got home Tuesday night in time to mow the lawn that just keeps growing with all the rain we have been having. Yesterday the lawn service came and fertilized so I suppose it will grow even faster. Sunshine today and a couples fun night with pot luck tonight.
Even if we don't play well, the food is always great. Better go make my peanut butter bars.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Finally some sunshine. Golf is really getting a late start this year.

Tomorrow I take off for Hastings and the NWAGA Easter Stroke Play Tournament.
We play a practice round on Sunday and a 2-day tournament Monday & Tuesday.
Any one mildly interested can probably find results in the Omaha WH. I don't expect to do very well because play has been very limited this spring. I do expect to have a good time and I always like to play a new course.

Lots of catching up to do after the trip to Montana and So. Dakota.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Day

Ok, maybe it is just a little thing, but I got my van back. After driving a Focus for 10 days, it is like luxury. Both doors on the driver's side had to be replaced and the entire driver's side repainted. So-all the door dings on that side are gone.
There were 2 things I did like about the Focus. It got 25.88 mpg while I was driving it. All the driving was in town. The other thing is I could walk all the way around it without squeezing while it was in the garage.

Golf league has begun. It is still kind of chilly in the evenings, but we haven't been rained out YET. There are only 3 little geese that have hatched on the golf course this year. I think the coons must have got to some of the nests. Last year there were two batches of 5 & 6. There was a badger swimming in one of the ponds last night. This is the first time I have seen one out there, but there has been some very large animal holes on the course.

One of our club members is a member of the Bluebird Society and for about 3 or 4 years has put up bluebird houses around the course. Therefore we have an abundance of bluebirds. They really do help keep the mosquitoes down because in the fall when they leave it seems like there are more mosquitoes. Anyone who lives in the country should have a couple of these houses. I bought Jacob a membership in the BB society which comes with a couple of houses. He hasn't had time to put them up yet as he and Joe have been planting hundreds of trees on their new acreage.

Sounds like we may have some good golf weather this weekend :).

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Sometime back I blogged about horses over by the high school. No one seemed to know why they were there. Well, they were back again this week. It just so happened that I was out walking over my noon hour and walked by the back side of the school where the horses and owners were. So, being curious, I asked. They bring the horses to the school and all the kindergarteners get to come take a ride. I wish I had the time to watch the little kids. Some of them have probably never seen a horse close up.

Mystery solved.


Monday, May 5, 2008

This & That

April 27th two friends and I went to the Swan Lake Ballet. It was wonderful. Wayne State College has an organization that gets some really big shows and charges very little to see them. Our cost was $10.00 each. This was the Russian Ballet company out of New York. Ramsey Theater is not very big so there are not a lot of bad seats.
We were in the second row just off to the right. Close enough to see all the expressions that are so important in a ballet. Everyone should see this performance if you get a chance. This is something that I can cross off my mental "Bucket List."

Yesterday our granddaughter, Jaydee, was confirmed. I believe this is a very big milestone in a young persons life. One of the first steps to adulthood. She has had a very good teacher, Chip, and I do hope most of what she has learned the past few years remain in her heart and mind. We had a nice lunch at Village Inn with all the family. It was a wonderful day.

The weather here has been really up and down. One day we have snow and the next day or two may be 70+. The wind seems to blow almost every day. We may have had 2 days the entire month of April that the wind did not blow.

The van goes to the body shop today. It will be "hospitalized" for about 10 days.

Happy Cinco De Mayo. I think it has something to do with a battle, not the invention of mayonnaise. LOL

Friday, April 25, 2008


The insurance companies determinted that the other driver was 100% at fault so will pay for all repairs and for a rental while the van is in the shop. Repairs will begin May 5. Since we have a grandaughter being confirmed on May 4th, the insurance adjuster gave us an extra day of rental.

Jerry went back to work this week and had no trouble with his legs, so guess he will be able to work awhile longer. He will be cutting back some though.

No golf this weekend. Forecast is for rain, wind and cold.

Two friends and I are going to see the "Swan Lake" ballet. Wayne State College has a ballet company from New York coming on Sunday.


Monday, April 21, 2008


Friday was not a very good day. It was cold and windy. I had a final doctor's appointment for the surgery on my thumb. Jerry dropped me off and ran a couple of errands and came back to pick me up. Well, as he was driving through the parking lot a car came forward out of a parking place and broadsided the van. No one was hurt, but the van sustained over $4400.00 in damage. Both doors on the drivers side will need to be replaced. It is still drivable, but will be laid up for repairs for about a week and a half. Wasted about 2 hours at the body shop getting an estimate and making phone calls to the insurance people.
When I got home I made a phone call and the phone was full of static so I had to call the phone company. They were there and fixed it in a short time.
We had planned to play golf and then go out to eat with friends for Jerry's birthday.
Golf was cancelled due to the cold. We did get to go out to eat and had a great visit with our friends that have just returned from their Arizona winter home.

Saturday, was one of the (maybe 2 per year) most perfect days to be outside. I washed all the bedding and hung it out, finished washing the 15 windows in the sunroom and then we played 18 holes of golf.

Sunday all the family was at our house for our April birthdays. Jacob and Kendra played football, last score I heard was 93 to 61 or something like that. We cooked out and had a good time. Cindy showed me how to get pictures to my blog so put one up of the grandkids. left to right, Jaydee, Abby, Jacob, Kendra. Now if I can just remember the steps to put up more. A picture is worth a thousand words so you will all be more informed than if I just rattle on.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Do you watch "The Biggest Loser"? It is the only "reality show" that I watch. Seeing the participants shrinking away each week is amazing. Not many of us have time to work out 6 hours a day, have a personal trainer, people to support us 24/7, and $250,000.00 to gain if we lose the most. I would like to see them all weigh in at the beginning of next season to see if they all kept it off.
After TBL, I watch Law and Order, SVU. Jerry doesn't like "cop shows" so he usually goes to bed. I like the L&O programs. There is always and unexpected twist in the mystery. You can just about count on the special guest star being the culprit. My favorite program is "Without a Trace". The CSI programs do not appeal to me because they get too graphic. Needless to say, my favorite reading is a good mystery.
The "Masters" was our entertainment for the weekend. Glad to have something to amuse us since the weather sucked.
One of the programs I like that is not a mystery is "What Not to Wear." Makes you wonder if some of those people have ever looked at themselves in a mirror.
Jerry likes "Deal or No Deal." I can live without that one. My favorite game show is Jeopardy, which I watch while I walk on the treadmill.
We have played a little golf this week dispite the wind. At least when the wind is gusting up to 40 MPH we have good excuse for high scores.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Even with Fridays off, my weekends still seem too short. Friday I had to drive Jerry to Lincoln for his appointment with the arthritis specialist. The diagnosis is gout and hopefully will be able to control it with medication. He has some arthritis in his joints, but not enough to warrant surgery. We had lunch with Cindy and Tammie and got home in time to play 9 holes of golf. Jerry just did some chipping as he is not ready to hit the long shots. We had our usual Friday out with friends.
Saturday. Jacob had his last wrestling match in Madison (only 12 miles away) so I went to watch him. He lost all his matches and was really disappointed. Then I joined Jerry and the Utechts for 9 holes of golf. The geese are already nesting so will probably have more little ones to watch again this year. They are fun to watch, but boy are they messy. Steaks on the grill (yum, yum & Donna cooked) for supper. Then we watched Kansas beat No Carolina in the final four NCAA BB tournament. Would like to see KU go all the way, since they are Big XII. I also hung some laundry out for the first time this year.
Sunday, Church, grocery shopping, more laundry, etc. I started washing the 15 windows in the sun porch (one of my least favorite jobs.) Six of them got done before the wind changed and made it too cold to work on the porch. The lawn guy called to have us flag the sprinkler heads so he could aerate the lawn on Monday. Checked all the sprinkler heads to make sure they were all working. Since all this extra left no time for cleaning, I am hoping Jerry felt like pushing the vaccuum cleaner today. Probably should try to mow tonight, don't want the neighbors to get ahead of me.
Spring is in the air and the robins are looking at the downspouts for nests.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Although I don't have a lot of contact with customers like Janell does, I do get a chuckle sometimes. The customer lounge and TV are just in front of my office with a 1/2 wall separation.
Yesterday the TV was on the channel that airs Tyra Banks. Her show was on strippers, or exotic dancers. The funny part was that during that hour most of the customers that were in the lounge at that time were older men. None of them seemed to be watching the show, but no one changed the channel. As old guys usually do, they were more into visiting. I wonder if some of them weren't sneaking a peek.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


April Fool, it isn't spring yet. It is still winter. Just enough snow on the ground to make it white. Sunday while I was doing dishes there were 4 fat robins in my yard. I wonder where they went?

Friday, March 28, 2008


Around 2 pm on Wednesday Donna & I took off for Epply Airfield. Our flight was scheduled for 4 something. Not hitches and the plane actually took off about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. We arrived in Phoenix a little early, but Donna's son Chuck, was on his way to pick us up. Donna's grandaughter, Taylor, was arriving from San Diego at the same time we were so we all arrived in great time. We found a spot to wait and it wasn't too long before they came looking for us. Chuck asked us if we wanted the good news or the bad news. We started with the good - The weather was to be great. The bad - the LPGA tournament wasn't until the following week. We had looked at the 07 schedule. Oh well, guess we will just have to play another day. Also visiting Chuck and Carmine were Carmine's sister, Cara, and her husband, Mike, and their 9-month old son, Christopher. Everyone got along great.
We played golf at three different courses. The first one was ok. The tees, fairways and greens were watered, but the roughs were real dry and hard to hit off.
The second day was right in Scottsdale and around houses. It was real nice. The third day was higher up and had a lot of pretty scenery. Chuck played with us all three days and Mike joined us twice.

Donna called some friends from Norfolk that winter near the course we played on Saturday and the met us after golf for a short visit. Was nice to see them. They also had family for the weekend so didn't have a lot of extra time.

Sunday we went to church and had Easter dinner. Taylor and Cara's family had to leave for the airport around 3. Carmine took them to the airport so Chuck took Donna and I for a drive through the more "rural" part of Arizona. We went through a town called Fountain Head. They have a park with a fountain that goes off every hour, on the hour, and shoots 100 feet in the air. It went off just as we were driving into town. So we didn't have to wait for it to shoot.

Everyone was really tired Sunday night so we all decided to head for bed by 9.

Monday we packed up, said our goodbyes to Chuck as he left for work. Carmine dropped us at the airport on her way to work. Then the fun began.

Our flight was for 12:09. We were there around 10, checked in, wandered around the airport awhile, got a bite to eat and waited for our plane to arrive. Announcement for those waiting for flight 510 to Omaha - Your plane is still in the hangar being worked on. Estimated time 1:30. Ok, we wait. Next announcement - Go to gate 21. From 2B is a long walk. Estimated time 2:30. Great. Next announcement - Go to gate 23. Not far. No plane there. 1:50 announcement - We are waiting for a plane to come in from Burbank at 2:10. Estimated departure time 2:30. Who are you trying to fool? Unload the passengers and luggage and reload in 20 minutes? Not going to happen. Burbank plane was on time, yaaay. We begin loading about 2:45. We are all loaded and ready to go. Announcement - We have to make a few technical adjustment will just be a few minutes. Yah, right. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Sorry folks, one of our flight attendants is timed out, we have to wait for another one. She is in the airport so will be "just a little while". 4 PM, we are leaving the gate. Finally. The flight back was good. We arrived in Omaha about 8:45 which was about 4 hours later than expected. Our luggage also made it with us, SUPRISE. Glad we had cell phones so that Jerry and Denny knew what was going on.
Finding something to eat between Epply Air field and Norfolk at 9 pm is not easy. We ended up at Wendy's in the Truck stop in Fremont. No more bad luck and we only saw one deer on the outskirts of Omaha. Safely home about 11:15. Brush my teeth and go to bed. Unpacking will wait.

Except for the 2 glitches - 1. the LPGA being this weekend instead of last and 2. The plane problems, it was a great vacation. Maybe Donna will invite me again so I can see the professionl women play.

Tuesday, back to work, playing catch up and correcting the mistakes others made trying to do my job. Guess I better get busy teaching them before I decide to retire completely.

Good to be back.


Thursday, March 27, 2008


There were pictures with this, but didn't transfer to my blog. Just close your eyes and imagine the pics.


It happened at the Norfolk Midwest Bank offices which are out by Skyview Lake in

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 8:45 AM Midwest Bank, Norfolk , NE

I was on the phone in the drive thru this morning, and noticed a skunk in the vacant field across from the bank. We all thought it was pretty strange to see a skunk in broad daylight in town…not to mention the funky convulsions it was having while it walked in circles. Nevertheless, it made its way across the street into our parking lot.

There had to be someone we could call!!! The police division could send us in the right direction. Jason hopped on the phone while the 5 women kept a close eye on it. The verdict was in, there's nothing animal control will do if you have a skunk…for the fear of getting sprayed. Just let it be.

Russ Wilcox, Senior Vice President, was not satisfied with that…so he hopped on the phone while I snapped pictures and everyone else watched through the blinds to see where it went.

Russ, after some discussion with police division, was told to "just leave it alone." (we pay you people to give advice such as "leave the skunk alone???") Russ, less than impressed with the recommendation, asked to speak with the Lieutenant…but was disconnected during the transfer and left with no answers!!! He walked (actually more like stomped) into his office and was going to get someone out here to trap it or go home and get his rifle and blow it apart. One or the other. Where was the skunk by this time you ask?.......

Still in the parking lot, circling around, "looking drunk" as Kathy Stoops quoted, and every so often picking up its' right paw and shaking it around. Strange, yes, but still too much for the police department with their extensive training and loaded guns.

So Russ calls the police back and this time, goes straight for the jugular…the CHIEF!!! Welp, chief's not in but a nice lady says to him… "Well, you never said you thought the skunk was sick! We can have someone come out and take a look. We only respond to RABID skunks in the area, not the sweet healthy ones." She must not have understood that skunks usually don't hang out in town in the middle of the day…but we'll cut her some slack.

So to our rescue in less than 5 mintues….Norfolk's finest CSO (community service officer)….we'll call him Jim.

Jim arrives and carefully approaches the sunk with is lasso. At the first attempt, the skunk throws his tail in the air and shows some life!!

Who do these two think they are?!?!? "So, do you think Jim just got sprayed?"…..they were almost standing in Stanton County ….but following the advice of the Norfolk PD…"Just leave it alone…

Jim tried a few times to get a firm grip on the little rascal, but seemed to be struggling. He grabbed a second tool from his bat mobile…I mean truck…and approached again, gaining confidence with every passing moment. This skunk's time was about up…No more drunk adventures to Norfolk at 8:00 AM.

GOT IT!!!! YESSSSS!! Jim saved the day and put that rabid, drunk, convulsing skunk in that cage where it belonged. As he drove off he said… "We'll take it out somewhere and shoot it." Way to take care of business Jim, we owe you one. (And you'll be glad to hear that Jim never did get sprayed….more evidence that this skunk was indeed drunk…I mean sick.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

signs of spring

Okay, everyone has seen a robin by now. Let's add a few more signs. One thing I notice is the track and tennis teams are practicing when I come home from work. Today I took a walk over my lunch hour and the geese were flying and honking overhead. The daffodils are pushing up. The snow is almost gone and what is left is just dirty piles. People are out walking. Kids are out playing. Baby calves are froliking in the pastures. Last, but not least, Donna & I played nine holes of golf on Tuesday. We had to walk and the course was not officially open. There were only temporary greens so we didn't putt. There was a pair of geese already looking for a nesting place by the pond on #8 even though there was still ice on it.
All right, I know it is supposed to snow tomorrow, but we always have to have a "spring snow" in this part of the country. Let's just call it another sign of spring.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


1. Speedy little town - Rushville
2. Embarassed strato-cumulus - Red Cloud
3. Flowing area - Bloomfield
4. Type of hound - Bassett
5. Shaquille - O'neill
6. 1492 sailor - Columbus
7. An automobile - leg joint - Kearney (pronounced carney for you non Nebraskans)
8. A common question - Wynot
9. Damaged Indian weapon - Broken Bow
10. No frills look - Plainview
11. Brand of overalls - Oshgosh
12. A union between nations - Alliance
13. Legal interment - Fairbury
14. Red hair - Auburn
15. Place to pray - Chappell
16. A tall evergreen (2) Long Pine or Douglas
17. A river of trees (2) Elm Creek or Wood River
18. The best athlete - Champion
19. Horse feed with bees - Hastings
20. Calling for mother while laughing - Omaha

How many did you get?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nebraska Life

Nebraska Life is a magazine published right here in Norfolk. It is one magazine I read cover to cover. Published 6 times a year, it has articles and pictures of people and places in Nebraska. Kind of makes me want to get in my car and just tour
the state.
This little quiz was in the latest issue. How many can you answer? The answers are all towns in Nebraska.
1. Speedy little town
2. Embarrassed strato-cumulus
3. Flowering area
4. Type of hound
5. Shaquille
6. 1492 Sailor
7. An automobile-leg joint
8. A common question
9. Damaged Indian weapon
10. No frills look
11. Brand of overalls
12. A union between nations
13. Legal interment
14. Red hair
15. Place to pray
16. A tall evergreen (two answers)
17. A river of trees (two answers)
18. The best athlete
19. Horse feed with bees
20. Calling for mother while laughing.

Answers at a later date.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Don't try to wash a cell phone in the washing machine. Jerry left his in a jacket pocket. Not only did it not come clean, but it quit working. Imagine that. Of course we couldn't get one like it so we wouldn't have to spend the extra for a charger for the truck. Kind of an expensive lesson. The phone was about 4 years old so it was probably on its last legs anyway. Now we will see how long it takes him to get used to the new one. This is a lot of technology for and old guy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Loss of a landmark

Sunday night Decatur lost what was probably the oldest business in the town. The Green Lantern Steakhouse burned to the ground. Fire departments from Lyons, Tekamah and Onawa were called in to assist. All was for naught, it is a total loss. The building was originally built as a car dealership then was an implement dealer. In 1955 it was converted to a steakhouse and bar. It has been in business for 53 years. The original owners, the Coopers I believe, had to sell for health reasons. It has changed hands 3 or 4 times. The present owners have had it for about 4 years.
The first time I ever heard of Pizza was when Dad and his bowling team would go there after bowling and have pizza. I think he did bring us some at least once. After having pizza for the first time, we thought it was great when we had Chef-Boy-R-Dee pizza mix with our own hamburger added.
When I worked in the bank in Tekamah, our Christmas parties were held at the Green Lantern.
There are probably not too many people in Burt County that have not eaten there. It will be missed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Saturday morning I decided to go to an estate auction. It has been a long time since I had been to one. There were all the things amassed by some family. Pots and pans, tupperware, bedding, Christmas decorations, pretty serving dishes, toys, tableware, table clothes, furniture, lawnmower, appliances, etc. There is something kind of sad in seeing a lifetime spread out on a bunch of tables. Not knowing the people makes you wonder what kind of family they were. The board games were well worn but still in their original boxes so we assume the played a lot of games. The washer and dryer were the new water saving ones so we assume they had to replace them recently. The bed was kind of old, but had a new mattress set. There were several walking canes and an adult walker. Someone had trouble getting around. There were a lot of stuffed animals. Wonder if they collected them or if they were leftovers from their children. Sets of tableware, one good set of silverware in a nice box saved for special occasions. A set of Corelle dishes for every day and nice set of china for company. A box of sheet music and music books. Someone must have played the piano although there wasn't one for sale. There wasn't a lot of furniture so we assume the family divided up the collectibles. There was a collection of salt and pepper shakers and a collection of bells. An International pedal tractor in mint condition brought over $200.00.

I didn't stay for the whole auction. My back was getting tired and there wasn't any place to sit. All I bought was one little box of stuff because it had four Garfield glasses in it. It is always fun to see what all you got when you get these miscellaneous boxes home. There was a camera, a hair clipper (don't think Jerry will let me cut his hair). A couple of Budweiser ash trays that I will see if Denny wants since he collects BW stuff. A bird on a log that picks toothpicks out of the log (kind of cute). A blue/white enamel drinking cup which still had the price tag on the bottom. A nice drinking glass. All this for a total of $4.00. All this kind of makes me want to go again.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing the usual weekend chores. Besides the usual stuff, I hemmed up a pair of pants and the sleeves on a couple of jackets that I had bought. Then I worked on my quilt. The binding edge is all pinned and ready to sew.
Jerry had to leave on Sunday afternoon. Joe stopped by to start his truck for him on his way to church. He called and said all three batteries had blown up. Fortunately Freightliner is open on Sunday so Jerry could get the new ones and Joe helped him put them in. I felt so sorry for the guys working out in the cold. I guess they got the job done because Jerry went on his way and didn't come back home.

Spring is one week closer.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

On The Move

The trucks are back on the road. Jerry made it to Chicago where it was raining when he called. Not sure where Joe is. They should both get home tomorrow unless there is more snow out east.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Jerry is snowbound in Wolcott, Ia. Joe is in Peru, Il. Seems like every year one or both of them get stuck at a truck stop at least once. Jerry is trying to get to Chicago which has a forcast of snow for at least the next 2 days. I'm not sure where Joe is headed. At least they are safely parked.
Norfolk got a couple more inches. It is hard to tell because of the wind blowing it into drifts. Some places there is a foot and some spots nothing.
Then there are the tornadoes in the south. Makes a person wonder what the summer months will be like when there are such severe storms in February.
Is the weather getting weirder or is it because of the news coverage we have?



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Still Winter

The weekend gave us a breather from the COLD. Temp got above freezing for a few days. Back to cold yesterday. Cold is an understatement. The high was 6 and that was right away in the morning. The wind was blowing 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50. Adding to the mix was a little snow. Really ugly day. Today is still cold but without the wind.

On Saturday, I went to Christoper & Banks and spent my gift certificate from Tammie and Randy. I don't want to add to the 8 billion $$ that doesn't get spent. Of course I spent more than the certificate, but "everything was on sale". Utechts decided to go to Sioux City on Sunday, so after church they picked me up and away we went. Jerry opted to stay home and watch golf on TV (he hates shopping). Not really needing anything, my quest was for bargains. It is not a bargain if you don't need it, but "need" is the operative word when seeking bargains. My big finds of the day were at Gordman's. I have to wear a hat when I golf and always look for new ones. They had a pink hat with Herbie Husker on it originally $18.00, Gordman price $9.00, marked down to $5.00 and a deal on Sunday all clearance merchandise 1/2 price off lowest price. Net for my cap $2.50. I also got a sweatshirt original price was around $32.00 marked down to $9.00 clearance, net $4.50.

I did get my t-shirt quilt all tied. Now I have to finish it off. Disadvantage of being short - I have 2 jackets that need the sleeves shortened and a pair pants to shorten. Guess these are projects to work on while the weather is cold.

Spring is coming.


Thursday, January 24, 2008


Brrrrrrrrrrrr -------IS IT SPRING YET?


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


See LDCP's comment.

Did you know God actually created woman first? He had given her 3 breasts. When he
asked her if she was satisfied with her body, Eve told him that 2 breasts would be more practical. God then removed the middle one and asked her if that was better.
Eve said it was perfect. God pondered "What should I do with this worthless boob?".
And God created Man.

So think twice before you throw out your boobs.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


As you can tell, the back nine is pretty quiet this time of year. The temperature has to be above 50 before this golfer will venture out. 50 is the lowest temperature, but also has an * *there has to be little or no wind. There was one day above 50 with no wind, but there is still about 4" of snow on the course. (sigh)

The Christmas decorations are all back in the storage space. Which was swept and dusted while the boxes were elsewhere. The front yard looks kind of dark at night since the lights are all back in their boxes. The gifts are all put away and the wrapping paper stored.

Now what? I look around my little room which has become the "computer room". It never had a name before, just the "little room". There is the quilt to finish, a pair of jeans that need a button sewn on, the files that need to be put in boxes so 2008 files can be put in the file cabinet. There are also shirts to deliver to Kathy to make memory bears for Jaydee and Kendra. Borrowed TV trays to return to Donna along with her folding chairs that I borrowed for our Christmas gathering.
There are the Elvis glasses that I got in our snowball gift exchange. Can't decide if I want to use them (they are a nice size) or donate them to a golf tournament for a door prize. There are some books I have read that I intend to give to a friend. There are scraps of material that I probably should just get rid of, but think maybe there could be a use for them. Janell, do you need scraps? My scale also sits where it is easy to get to. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't. On the walls there is a variety of odds and ends. A small knick-knack shelf with a few things on it. Two plaques of little cowboys and cowgirls. A John Elway commemorative plaque. There is clutter on top of the desk (should clean that I guess). A cabinet has baby pictures and senior pictures of Cindy, Tammie and Joe.
There are 2 desks, a roll top and my computer desk, a file cabinet, sewing machine (thinking of moveing that to my bedroom), a stepstool, an office chair, and all the stuff you need with a computer. Sure seems like a lot of stuff in the little room.

Time to get busy and get my weekend chores done.
Spring is coming.