Thursday, November 30, 2006

Writing, Reading, and Arithmetic

In his post titled, ‘It’s Over’, Cliff talked about the book signing event held in Tekamah last Friday. It was a fun little event with people lined up out the door. Okay, they weren’t really out the door but they were at least to the door - we had them space out to make the line look longer.

Writing – While Cliff and I both have a book, neither one of them has really taken off the way we had hoped. Okay, they really haven’t taken off and I guess that’s what we expected.

Reading – Following the book signing, Dan requested I read a story. Not wanting to disappoint the huge crowd that had gathered I agreed. Then Cliff read a story. Next thing you know Cliff was reading one of the poems from his book. Of course, I had to read one too – the only one in my book. Cliff and I both concluded we write better than we read. But the crowd, all eight of them, took it in stride.

Arithmetic - Cliff wrote, “We decided that since we had personally purchased all of the books that people went home with, there was going to be a limit to this activity.” We agreed that writing a book and giving it away is a good way to go broke.

At the conclusion of the signing and the reading, the crowd was stunned when we announced that neither of us has heard from Oprah.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Home Away From Home

Pictured above from left to right is Cliff, Char, Marilyn, and me. Char and I just got ‘home’ from spending Thanksgiving with Cliff and Marilyn. I suppose I should be excited to be home except:

At home I get up and make a pot of coffee. I do the same at the Morrow’s.
At home I go to bed when I am tired. I do the same at the Morrow’s.
At home I know where the adult beverages are stored. Yeah, I do at the Morrow’s as well.
At home when I can’t sleep I get up and watch TV. Same at the Morrow’s.
At home when I need some “space”, I walk outside. This happens at the Morrow’s as well.
At home I want something to eat I open the refrigerator and get. True at the Morrow’s.
At home I like to cook. Okay, at the Morrow’s I love to cook, Cliff and I cook about the same way.
At home when I can’t find something I look through the kitchen until I do. I do the same at the Morrow’s.
At home I can kick back and relax. Same at the Morrow’s.

We really had a GREAT visit with Cliff and Marilyn and everyone who graced there home over the past few days. And believe me quite a few people passed through their home.

The only way I could feel any more at home at the Morrow’s would be to pay the mortgage.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


First of all I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you are where you want to be, you eat just a little too much, and your team wins.

I have been traveling for the past few days for work. I took my computer with me but never turned it on. When I got home Tuesday night we had no internet service! I couldn’t check my email. Worse yet, I couldn’t check my blog. Even worse, I couldn’t check your blog.

So, there was only one thing to do – pack up the van, head east, and drive for nine hours to see if Cliff would let me on his computer. After a good dinner and a great visit he agreed to let me check my blog.

Okay, I have been traveling for the past several days and had no internet service when I got home. But, Cliff and Marilyn had extended an invitation for us to have Thanksgiving dinner with them on the farm awhile back.

Today, Char spent the day listening to me say things like:
“I can’t believe we are driving nine hours for a free meal.
“I can’t believe we are driving nine hours for home made dressing.”
“Marilyn’s pie better be really good if we are driving for nine hours to get a slice of it.”
“We are traveling 600 miles, one way, because we don’t want to spend thirty-nine cents a pound for turkey.”

There were probably thirty different statements like the ones above. But, Char had one constant reply, “Ralph, shut up.”

I have a feeling we are in for another great time! Hope you are too – HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cancelled Meetings

I had just left one meeting and was driving to another when my cell phone rang. The conversation went like this:

Me: This is Ralph.
John: Ralph this is John. Say do you really feel like meeting this afternoon?
Me: John, I am on my way down there. But, whatever works for you.
John: Well, it’s Friday afternoon and I'm taking all of next week off. Would it be okay if we met after Thanksgiving?
Me: John, that’s perfect. Have a good Thanksgiving, I’m going to go play golf.

Rarely, and I do mean rarely, does this conversation ever take place. But, it did last Friday. I had an afternoon meeting cancelled and the only thing I had waiting for me at the office was a stack of budget sheets that I had no desire to dive into before a weekend.

I called my son Nate, and my neighbor to see if they would like to go play golf. They did.

I had my annual physical earlier in the week and while I wasn’t sure I want to go play golf the Doctor encouraged me to do so because it was a good form of exercise. (Okay, that “I wasn’t sure I want to go play golf” was a lie).

I called the golf course for a tee time and the first thing I got was a recorded message that informed me because of cool weather conditions the ‘proper attire restrictions” have been lifted.

I got a tee time for 2:03. At 2:00, we walked on to a golf course we practically had to our selves. The weather was warm, the sky was blue, the golf course was almost empty, and I was out on a Friday afternoon playing golf with my son and a good friend.

Does life get any better than that?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pine Needle Malfunction

It started with Janet’s wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl. They talked about it for weeks on the news.

Now it seems like it is happening everywhere - even at the mall. This Holiday bear has serious issues with the front of its pants.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lessons in the Stairwell

The lesson was simple yet quite complex – sometime I really needed to stop and take a few minutes to appreciate what I have.

Yesterday was our anniversary. A special day for any married coupled. Char and I went to a movie, had lunch and were going to do some shopping. We would then return home and I would cook dinner.

During the shopping phase Char must have taken pity on me and declared the mall to crowd and she would go to different stores by herself. I’d like to say I was upset – but I wasn’t. She dropped me off at the house around 4:30 and I began dinner.

On one of my many trips up the stairs, I noticed a picture hanging on the wall. It was Char and I standing at the alter seconds after we were married. I studied it closely then went and looked in the mirror. I don’t have nearly the amount of hair I had back then, I have “added a few pounds” and I have taken on the look of “wisdom beyond my years”.

I went back and looked at the picture again. Char looks the same! She looks exactly like she did the day we were married. Then to top it all off I know for a fact she can still fit into her wedding dress.

I looked at other pictures on the wall. There were several relatives we have laid to rest. There were pictures of our kids when they were young and now as adults. There were pictures of some of the things we had done together.

Suddenly I had a lump in my throat. I took it as God’s way of saying - she puts up with a lot being married to you, make sure this meal is really good.

I better go baste the Cornish game hens.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Annual Rant

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time for my annual rant about ‘The Forgotten Holiday’ and commercialism. While I try to avoid using swear words in Homespun Headlines the same cannot be said about aisle 21 of our local supermarket.

It was October 29, two days before Halloween and I was in aisle twenty-one buying Trick or Treat candy. I turned around and saw Frosty at the end of the aisle waiting to take it over. Along with Frosty was a tower of snow penguins and snow girls (I mean we do have to be PC or profits might drop). The words just flowed like a well-conducted symphony. I am a little surprised Frosty didn’t melt. But, there they were waiting to stake their claim on that big cash cow we call Christmas.

I’m sure Frosty and his friends could give a flip about Thanksgiving. It’s not a big revenue generator.

I’ll be back in the Fall of 2007 making my third annual rant.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Vanishing Wildlife

A year ago, we moved the office. The new office location had many benefits. We are surrounded by a lot of undeveloped land, which I like. There is plenty of parking and it’s free, a nice change from some previous locations. One thing I didn’t count on was the amount of wildlife we would have. I should have expected it since we are right next to the foothills. Often time when driving in or walking around you see a few deer.

A couple of days ago, I went for a walk and realized I had not seen a deer for quite some time. In fact, I haven’t seen any since this was installed.