Friday, June 22, 2007

Blogstock '08

So. . . I was driving down the highway, minding my own business, when all of the sudden I started thinking about Woodstock. You remember Woodstock? It was held in 1969 on a 600-acre dairy farm outside the rural town of Bethal, New York.

Woodstock. The event anticipated 200,000 people but ended up with over half a million. People abandoned their cars and walked for miles to get to the concert. People who attended shared food, beverages, drugs, and themselves with others. Three people died and while unconfirmed it has been rumored that two children were brought into the world at that event.

I don’t know why I was thinking about it. I didn’t go and I don’t know anyone who did. I started wondering if I missed something and that led to thoughts of Blogstock ‘08.

Imagine this – fifteen to twenty blogging friends and their family gathering together on a farm. . . oh say, outside of Tekamah, Nebraska. As far as music, we know our host does a good solo according to Jerry and Nora. I have heard Julie play the piano and she is great. We could share food – Cliff is a great cook. We could share beverages – Tekamah has a little coffee shop and Cliff is known for always having a pitcher of ice tea close by. We can share drugs – most likely, ibuprofen. Hopefully, no one will die and no one will be brought into the world either.

Blogstock ‘08!! Let me know if you're interested in attending, we'll get you the details.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wonders of Nature

You have to love this time of the year. You walk outside and you can see many wonders of nature.

One wonders of nature are roses in full bloom. . .

. . . . another wonder of nature is trees that have leafed out and are flowering.

One of my favorite wonders of nature this time of year is grape clusters just starting to form on the vine. . . .

. . . then there are the true wonders of nature.

Okay, that might be a little much.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Seeking Advice

The other evening I came in from the south field and found DOR (Daughter of Ralph) and SILOR (Son in Law of Ralph) talking in the driveway.

DOR: No, we are not.
SILOR: But why not Tiff?
DOR: Because we aren’t.
SILOR: But I don’t understand. He wants to go.
DOR: No. We are not taking Max (our dog) to Dairy Queen.

And with that, she got in the car and left SILOR and I standing in the driveway. SILOR turned, looked at me and said, “So, how do you handle situations like this?’

“That’s easy,” I replied. “You do this. . .”, nodding my head in the affirmative, “. . . then you get in the car.” That’s what SILOR did.

Laying down my tools, I started to laugh - I mean, really. Asking me for advice on relationships or marital issues is probably the equivalent of asking the devil how to find Jesus.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wedding, Wine, and Woman

The wedding plans are progressing - I guess. My opinion hasn’t been sought. I hear a little about it but for the most part, I haven’t been let into the inner circle. I'm okay with that. The wedding is about six weeks away, I’m sure DOR (Daughter of Ralph) and Char will make it all come together.

Last night when I walked in, I saw six bottles of wine on the table. Actually, our kitchen table is not that large and you would have to work hard not to see six bottles of wine. Wine at our house is not an uncommon site. We just don’t buy it by the case. Unless of course we give a wine tour in Palisade.

It’s time to select the wines for the wedding. So, after dinner DOR, our neighbor, Char, and SILOR (Son in Law of Ralph), opened a few bottle to select the right one. Last night was red wine night. While I like the taste of red wine, I don’t do well with it so I sipped my ice tea. I think a decision was made but cannot tell you what it was, see the sentence above which reads, “My opinion hasn’t been sought.”

Tomorrow is DOR’s birthday but we celebrated early. DOR and SILOR will be gone looking for a place to live after the wedding and handling some work items. To celebrate we took DOR and SILOR out to dinner, prior to the wine tasting. It was a fun evening but for a brief time, at least for me, it was one of those reflective moments. While I was snapping this picture, I got thinking about the young woman in the camera lens. I flashed back twenty-three years to when she was born. I was also thinking this is the last birthday she will just be our daughter. On her next birthday, she will still be our daughter but she will also be SILOR’s wife.
SILOR is a great guy and I am sure he will be a good husband. My first clue was his sense of humor – I mean he laughs at all my jokes. Secondly, he has taken up golf. We haven’t played since they arrived but that will change as tasks for the wedding draw to a close. However, he recently asked me for a bit of advice. I’ll post about that later.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The North Field

Cliff wrote about planting corn, Rachel about tobacco crops, and most recently, Jerry about soybeans. Well, this past weekend I finally got my crops in. Yes, I know it’s late. Yes, I know my yield will be down because of that, but at least it’s done. I even regained control of the vineyard.
This is the north field more commonly referred to as the garden. It has four tiers. That’s the main reason Char won’t let me get a tractor. The cost of constructing a drivable ramp is a bit prohibitive. So I am forced to work the north field by hand.

The crops this year consists of six tomato plants, two green peppers, two squash, one zuccinni, two cucumbers, one rhubarb, and three grapes plants.

I spent a lot of time in the top tier of the garden, which I refer to as the vineyard. The grapes have been in for about four years.

Over the past two years, they had gone a little wild and had pretty well taken over that section of the garden. They were all over the ground as well as the fence. They needed to be pruned drastically. My neighbor really liked them along the fence and told me a few times they help “soften” the view of the fence. While I appreciate his input, I kept cutting them back while telling him there is a big difference between growing for decoration and a growing for production.

I started to explain to him the cane pruning method but he just walked away shaking his head.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Tuesday night we went to downtown Denver to the Center of Performing Arts. Char was one of twelve teachers in the state nominated for the Technology Teacher of the Year award. It is an award given out by a statewide technology organization. Six hundred and fifty people attended this event.
If you click on the photo, you can see the people nominated listed on the banner.

I was really disappointed when Char did not receive the award. While the teacher that was selected deserved it – so did Char.

After we got home, I realized Char gets many awards. It’s just that most of them go unrecognized. I usually hear about them early in the morning while we are getting ready for work or in the evening standing in the kitchen. I hear of her award when she tells me about the deaf kid who used sign language to tell her she is her favorite teacher. Or, about the parent of the special education kid who cannot believe Char was able to teach their child how to make a Power Point presentation. They are also awarded on numerous occasions when we walk into stores or restaurants and hear those now familiar words, “Mrs. Campbell! Mrs. Campbell!”

These are the true awards. They don’t set on shelves. They are awarded in the classroom and in the lives of our youth.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Super Natural Powers

Friday evening I came up with a list of things to accomplish over the weekend. But it was not to be.

Instead, we had several good meals, celebrated a couple of birthdays, and took in a baseball game. I also taught a short course on taking self-portraits similar to this one. No Cliff, alcohol was not involved.

In my spare time I created some magical band-aids and had the opportunity to do my best ever impersonation of two super hero’s. So, this week I’ll just rely upon my super natural powers to complete my projects.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Yard Divided

So . . . Char was just staring at me after she said, “What?” It really shouldn’t have surprised her when I announced, “I’ll be out in the north field.”

For years, I’ve been fascinated with orchards, hay fields, vineyards, farms and plantations. They are outdoors, they have to do with growing or trying to grow things, and they require space. The picture is of an orchard outside of Palisade, Colorado.

When you live in a subdivision within a large city, you just don’t have enough land to establish an adequate size orchard, vineyard, or farm. Hay fields are most certainly out, as they can’t be mowed regularly in accordance with the covenants of the homeowners association.

So, realizing my land accusation was limited to a subdivision lot and major improvements to the “old homestead” are underway, I came to the conclusion this might be as good as it’s going to get.

That’s when I decided to divided my yard into fields. The north field is the garden. The south field was highlighted in my previous post. The east and west fields are the backyard and front yard, respectively.

In all fairness to Char, I forgot to tell her I renamed the yard. So, I explained my new concept.

I’m not sure what she was shaking her head at after I said, “So, I’ll be in the north field trying to plant the crops.” But, I am smart enough to know now was not the time to bring up the need for a small tractor.